By Ruoro Kairu
A few years ago, I was working at a construction firm. I was fresh from school and was trying to learn everything. A few months in, one of the managers left. His replacement was the type who thought he could do everything himself. Sometimes, this attitude helped him, other times, it cost the company.
I remember one time when he asked why we needed to have project managers for the various projects the company was undertaking.
“Can’t we just brief the team doing the work and then manage them ourselves? Won’t that be cheaper?” He said.
What is project management, and why is it important?
A project manager is a professional responsible for leading a project from the inception stage all through to its completion. This includes the planning stage, the execution, and management of people, resources and every other aspect pertaining to the specific project.
Project management, therefore, is the application of skills, tools, knowledge, and techniques to meet the objectives of a particular assignment.
My former manager had a valid point though; why can’t we just tell the teams what to do and manage the situation? Why do companies need a project manager? And, how important is a project manager?
To best answer this question, I spoke to a project manager with seven years experience in high profile projects. Here is what he had to share on the importance of a project manager;
1. Clear focus and objectives
Before starting a project, one must lay out a clear plan of what needs to be done, the timelines, and metrics to measure the overall success.
As an effective project manager, you’re able to effectively plan before the project begins. Subsequently, this leads to orderly and chaos-free project execution.
2. Realistic project planning
Some managers will work with an estimated budget and vague deadlines. This is a recipe for disaster.
With training in project management, you’re able to set expectations that can be met with the budget and resources provided.
3. Maximum resource utilization
To succeed in executing a project, you need to carefully utilize the resources available. When you can effectively do this, the project will run through smoothly.
How effective you are at utilizing resources will determine the success of your project.
4. Risk management
Oftentimes, you can begin a project with the best strategy but fail to recognize potential risks that could hamper the progress and success project. With proper and practical training, you can stay ahead of any risks and threat to your project.
Certainly, the role of a project manager is integral to any project, but can anyone become a project manager?
You can learn project management if you’re;
- A professional working or wishing to work in the NGO sector
- Fresh graduate who wants to pick up practical skills in project management
- A professional looking to learn practical project management
Ultimately, project management is a key bit to any project. Learning practical project management skills will help you position yourself in the completive job market.
Enroll for the upcoming Project Management Course at Corporate Staffing Services and grow your skills in project management.